A Gardening Life – July 7th
I picked blueberries yesterday. The early bearing varieties are now filled with large, ripe fruit that needs to be harvested daily. Last year we picked these early berries and looked forward to the others that mature later in July, but we never saw that second and third crop of fruit. The Canadian geese discovered the blueberry patch in the second week of July and the only thing we found in the garden from then on was blue-tinged goose poop.
This year we ordered a large piece of blueberry netting early in the summer. My husband had installed locust posts throughout the blueberry bushes two years ago but the plants were so young then that we didn’t have enough fruit to protect. This spring the plants had been in the ground for four years and it was time to seriously start pruning and protecting the blueberry crop. (More on pruning blueberries below.) When I saw a catbird sitting on the top of one of the locust posts eyeing the berries, I knew it was time to put on the netting.
The covering has kept the birds away from the fruit but it means that in order to harvest the berries you either have to hunch over or get down at ground level to pick fruit. I decided that sitting among the bushes and picking from below was easier on the back, so I pulled up the netting, dropped to hands and knees and crawled into the blueberry patch.
When I was a girl children were pushed outside after school or in the summer and told not to come back in until meal time. We had to make our fun in the out-of-doors, and a good amount of time was spent hanging out in trees or under shrubbery. The neighbors’ bushes became our forts and clubhouses. A climbable tree was turned into a shady refuge or imaginary dwelling. Fifty years later I sat eye to eye with my blueberry bushes and was transported back to that time when spending extended periods of time among plants was a magical experience and anything was possible.
I picked blueberries yesterday, but harvested much more than fruit.
Sharing the Wealth
Tips for Success with Blueberries